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Cross Creek

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  1,214 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews
Originally published in 1942, this delightful memoir offers a warm and wonderful evocation of the life of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling and other books. "The novelist's awareness has touched people and place and incident, and the result is beauty and laughter and poignancy and truth".--New York Times Book Review. Woodcut illustrations.
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published March 20th 1996 by Turtleback Books (first published 1942)
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Community Reviews

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Diane Barnes
Mar 06, 2015 Diane Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
I really enjoyed this memoir of Marjorie Rawlings years in Cross Creek, Florida. She began her sojourn there in 1928, at a time in Florida's history before tourists and developers got ahold of it. There was still wilderness and the type of individualists it took to appreciate and make a living in this type of environment. Rawlings best fiction came from this setting, including "The Yearling" which won a Pulitzer for it's portrayal of a family trying to make a go of a farm in backwoods Florida. H ...more
Jun 06, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I've felt I "should" read, jsut because I've been hearing about it for so long. Some of the writing was beautiful. However, I couldn't quite get over how condescending she was to her neighbors.
Some of this was certainly a racist thing. I always have mental battles when this occurs in books of the period when that was generally more accepted. On the one hand, it's a time capsule. But I can never completely remove my own views on all of this. It's really come down (
Mar 05, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all on my list
Vacationing in St. Augustine Fla during the winter was a delight, and to find, as I like to do, a book about the area makes the enjoyment of the respite from ordinary life even better. Cross Creek was the Florida find. I had seen the movie years ago, and was captivated by the time and place as well as Ms. Rawlings and her neighbors at "the creek". As we know movies are normally a thin unsatisfying version of the book they are based on, so as I held the book in my hand I was anxious to read it. I ...more
Sep 06, 2010 SK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rawlings is a lyrical writer who loves the earth and nature. The book originally published in 1942 is a substantial "should read" and I refer you to Rawlings' background in the "reviews" section. A memoir of Rawlings, the book describes her life as a young woman who takes on running a Florida farm in the 1930's. Her city background and her resourceful determination to live in rural backwoods are delightful. Some of her financial decisions were a little hard to believe. With the benefit of hindsi ...more
Christine CC
Nov 15, 2011 Christine CC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 1942 edition purchased at 'The Julian Book House' in Julian, CA. caught my eye because the cover was so pretty and, being from Florida, it seemed like something I should have read a long time ago.

I started it this week and I'm a multi-book at a time reader, so I'll complete it in due time. However, I'm already being carried away by Ms Rawlings deep love of the simplicity of her rural community, the people and the natural landscape. She speaks of a lone Magnolia amoung the Orange Trees
Julie Davis
Jul 09, 2014 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A souvenir picked up while on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida. I vaguely recall reading this when a young adult but clearly I was unprepared to appreciate the author's lyrical prose style which is laced with a wonderful sense of humor.

It is a clear look at life in back country Florida in 1942 and so sometimes is a bit cringe-worthy. But at that time those things were not cringe worthy which is surely worth reflecting upon in terms of what we do not see as cringe worthy in our own society but
Jun 08, 2012 Ernie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't know much about Florida until my daughter moved down there 5 or 6 years ago. Every visit has turned up some amazing aspect of nature or history. For example, I grew up in the north-east and springs were trickles of water that emerged from wet meadows on mountainsides; in Florida springs are entire rivers that leap, full blown, from a hole in the ground (no mountainsides). During the last visit, a month ago, my daughter took us to Majorie Kinnan Rawlings home just south of Gainesv ...more
I've never read anything by MKR, not even The Yearling. I had a lovely old copy of that classic, and I gave it away because the movie about the boy and his deer was so sad. I watched it twice and that was it. My only consolation was that "it was just a story." I convinced myself that nothing like that would happen in "real life."

I didn't know what to expect from Cross Creek. I was pleased to find a couple of meaningful quotes on the first few pages:
p 10 "At one time or another most of us at the
Oct 22, 2013 Abigail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel a special kinship with Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings--we both experience some sort of mystical, spiritual connection with the wildlands, orange groves, and creatures of Florida. Visiting her home a couple of weeks ago for my birthday day trip was exhilarating--I recognized bits of her land and home from her autobiography, and the tour guide made her stories come alive again: the outhouse with the screen door, her fireplace, the hunting dogs, orange groves, pecan trees, the neighbors she adored ...more
Nov 07, 2011 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first half was difficult to read. I wanted very much to hold Rawlings as a bit of an idol: an independent woman of the 30s making her own way in Florida. But I found it very hard to admire her in light of her very raw racism. Although she seems to have had some strong personal relationships with black people, there seems to be always a veil of judgment between her and them -- an otherness that is hard to read.

The second half, when Rawlings moves from personal relationships to her relationsh
Jun 14, 2011 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Published in 1942, it is an authentic peek into Florida history and is chock full of autobiographical anecdotes as well as insights into Florida plants and animals, farming, hunting, small-town politics, and the local socioeconomics of the times. And throughout it all, Pulitzer Prize winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings breathes great character, humor and insight.

I specifically enjoy her approach to writing about all of the nature around her. I noticed this when I
Lisa Corathers
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings found her Eden in the rural community of Cross Creek, FL. The author's writing has a truly wonderful cadence. I especially enjoyed her ability to describe the bounty of Florida's nature...even those dreaded water moccasins! Some of the stories were hilarious, while others quite poignant or outright sad. As much as I admired her narrative abilities, the one thing I found very disturbing was how she wrote of her poor black neighbors. I believe that some of this was due to ...more
Memoir of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ experiences after purchasing a primitive farmhouse and large orange grove in north-central Florida. I read elsewhere that she bought it with her husband and they divorced within a year of moving there; he’s not mentioned at all. Very few characters are recurring, and the chapters are not chronological until near the end of the book. This makes it feel somewhat like a compilation of short stories, but with a common thread: it’s easy to put it down for a few day ...more
Jan 31, 2010 Bobbi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, nonfiction
I loved this book. I've cut and pasted the description from Goodreads, because I couldn't have said it better. If you haven't read it, you've missed Rawlings' best story.

Originally published in 1942, Cross Creek has become a classic in modern American literature. For the millions of readers raised on The Yearling, here is the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's experiences in the remote Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. From the daily labors of managing a seventy
Denise Moore
I first read this book when I was in my early twenties. I did not know much about truth, goodness, and beauty back then, but for some reason this book ‘felt' beautiful to me. At the time I could not explain what I meant by that word, beautiful. At that time, I did not value beauty. It was while reading this book that I first thought to myself, Wow, this writing is beautiful!.
Now, some forty or so years later, I have decided to revisit books that I had read earlier in my life as a young adult. Wo
Jun 16, 2014 Jimmy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Autobiographical stories by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of The Yearling, about her life in Cross Creek, Florida. She tells of characters like 'Geechee, who is named after the Ogeechee River. 'Geechee was a young black girl who was bought by the author for five dollars to do her housework. Seems like the girl's family was too large to care for her themselves. And there's Mr. Martin and his pigs. No fences in Cross Creek to keep animals in. You have to build them to keep other people's an ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful descriptions of 1930s Florida, when it crawled with wildlife and riotous communities of unimaginable flora. Had a tough time with her blatant white superiority though. If she were writing in today's world her words would have no doubt been "p.c.", but because she wrote nearly 70 years ago during an era when blacks were just two generations out of slavery, her constant use of "Negroes" and "colored" were tough to digest. Made it hard to finish the book. Disregarding that aspect (hard to ...more
Erin L.
Sep 12, 2007 Erin L. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Ugg! I really hated this book. I had great expectations for it because it's about an area less than 30 minutes from where I live. However, the plethora of detail bogged me down and made it difficult to wade through. Stereotypes about and it's obviously dated. It was interesting enough, but too long. At the end I regreted the time I invested.
Oct 24, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, memoir
Due to the time and location of this biography, there were some racist statements and phrases that made me cringe, but on the whole the volume and poetic detail of informative and entertaining stories, this is definitely a worthwhile read! Really lovely.
Sep 18, 2015 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I've read 3 times. Rawlings engagement with nature and people is so powerful and beautifully written - and she pulls you in to her world.
June Geiger
Jan 03, 2016 June Geiger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are not enough stars.
Joy H.
Jun 03, 2015 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Added 6/3/15.
Didn't read the book. Watched the film adaptation.
"Cross Creek" (1983)
Stars: Mary Steenburgen, Rip Torn, Peter Coyote
"The Oscar nominated true story of the woman who wrote The Yearling" (1930).
"Based on the protagonist's real-life memoirs, frustrated newspaper reporter Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Mary Steenburgen) abandons her career and moves to a Florida bayou to c
Tricia Veres
Oct 16, 2016 Tricia Veres rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to get around the racial writing that was authentic to the author and of the time, but I loved everything else about this book!
Bobby Underwood
Nov 16, 2014 Bobby Underwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cross Creek is one of the finest memoirs ever written, filled with grace and beauty from one of America's greatest writers, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Perhaps no other writer has so perfectly and honestly captured a place and time like Rawlings did in Cross Creek. It will transport you to that small acreage of backwoods Florida and cause you to wish for a life such as this.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings purchased a seventy-two acre orange grove in this remote area and fled her aristocratic life in the
Andrew Howe
Sep 30, 2016 Andrew Howe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I discovered it through the book of letters by Groucho Marx in which he recommended it to an associate (at a time when the book was young!). I became extremely curious and bought a copy. The words painted such beautiful and colourful pictures of Florida country life (before the theme parks!) that I now intend to visit the author's home when I visit the US next year.
Kerry Hennigan
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Yearling, found her creative voice and her inspiration for many of her characters and incidents at Cross Creek – a small hamlet in Florida where she lived.

Rawlings had deserted urban life up north and took to tending her orange grove at Cross Creek and getting to know her neighbors.

The book that she wrote after becoming a successful novelist is a series of vignettes, reflections, observations and amusing anecdotes about the lands
Nov 20, 2015 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Cross Creek, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. This is an autobiographical tale of the author's time in the swampy orange grove of Cross Creek, Florida. It is also a biography of the place. She's a brilliant writer, author of my all time favorite book, The Yearling. I started this once before and somehow it didn't grab me. I'm glad I tried again. I do confess it was a little tricky to remember that she was a product of her time and place and to judge her by her true actions and compassion for the people
Josh Liller
I picked this for a Florida book club I run. Rawlings is a famous Florida author and this seemed to be her second-best regarded book after "The Yearling" which I didn't chose because of its younger target audience.

"Cross Creek" is Rawling's loose memoir of slightly more than a decade (1928-1942) living in the titular rural area southeast of Gainesville. She writes about her encounters with local residents, both white and black, and the local flora and fauna too. The book is written almost essay-
Rob Smith
May 25, 2015 Rob Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rawlings collected writings of life in early 1900s Florida is what I deem a classic in writing. This set of essays is just extraordinary in more than writing. It's also a view into the mind of one with a view of life that is nearly unacceptable in today's narrow-minded, politically correct American life.

My friend B.K. recently brought to my attention, unknowingly, that I had not read Cross Creek. Considering how much I've read of my great state of Florida, I admit embarrassment that Cross Creek
I had mixed feelings about this book. Before I read it I was expecting an account of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings life and how she homesteaded. While this book has some of that, it actually wasn't the type of homesteading account I thought it would be.

There isn't really a set time line to this novel. She jumps around back and forth between years and seasons and people. While she does describe some life on the farm, the majority of her time is spent describing the people of Cross Creek, and not alway
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Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same title, The Yearling. The book was written long before the concept of young-adult fiction, but is now commonly inclu ...more
More about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings...

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“We cannot live without the Earth or apart from it, and something is shrivelled in a man's heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men” 37 likes
“Madness is only a variety of mental nonconformity and we are all individualists here.” 27 likes
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